Here's something you didn't know -- The Flood has always dreamed of having its own radio station. But then, who hasn't? Imagine, day and night, listening to a radio that plays only the tunes of your favorite artists.
Of course, with the Flood -- West Virginia's most ECLECTIC string band, after all -- that would be a pretty diverse group of artists. The favorite performers group would have to start with great string bands and jug bands, both old and new, from the 1920s and 1930s stars like the Memphis Jug Band, Tampa Red and Georgia Tom and Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, Riley Puckett and the Skillet Lickers, and, of course, Charlie Poole to 1960s Jim Kweskin, the Even Dozen Jug Band, the New Lost City Ramblers to today's Juggernaut Jug Band and the Old Crow Medicine Show.
But naturally it wouldn't stop there. The favorites would also have to include blues singers like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Mississippi John Hurt up to Keb Mo' and Guy Davis, and classic bluegrassers from Flatt & Scruggs to the Stanley Brothers and the Coon Creek Girls, rock greats like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins, folk singers like Tom Rush, Dave Von Ronk and Ian and Sylvia, songwriters from Hazel Dickens to John Prine and Steve Goodman to Hoagy Carmichael and Fats Waller. Then throw in a little Doc Watson, Staple Singers, Fats Domino, Lefty Frizzell, Louis Armstrong.
And of course, we'd have to give some air time to our buddies -- Rob McNurlin, John Lilly, Jazzou Jones, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, J.P. Fraley, Andy Cohen, Pat Surface and others.
And, heck, The Flood itself should appear on the station from time to time, shouldn't it?
Well, guess what? We now HAVE just such a station. Welcome, Flood Radio on the Internet!
It's made possible by last.fm, a UK-based Internet radio and music community website that now claims more than 21 million active users based in more than 200 countries. Just last year, the whole shootin' match was bought by CBS Interactive for about $280 million.
Using last.fm technology, The Flood has just created a custom radio station that plays the music of more than a hundred artists we've added to our online library, all the ones mentioned above and many more.
To check it out, just go to the Flood web site (1937flood.com) and click the "Flood Radio" link on the navigation bar at the left. Then click the circled arrow in the black last.fm player at the bottom of the resulting page. After a moment, you should be listening to Radio Free Flood!
The on-screen player will even give you details of what you're listening to at the moment. As we write this, Champion Jack Dupree's playing "Hometown New Orleans." A minute ago, it was Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys doing "Time Changes Everything," and before that, The Band was doing "Ophelia." On screen, the player even has links for buying the tune you're hearing, if you'd like. Yep, we're hooked.
Now, one note: Since last.fm is a rather cutting edge Web 2.0 application, it, well, doesn't always work right. Sometimes when we click the circled arrow, we get a message that says "no content / not enough content" or that there's been error loading the station. We've found, though, that if you just refresh page and try again or maybe leave the Flood site, then come back in and try again, it usually works. Sometimes, too, the player stops after a few tunes and has be re-launched. But hey, it's all free and pretty amazing, so if it's occasionally a bit hinky, well, hey, who the heck isn't?